Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Affective evaluations of previously ignored visual stimuli are more negative than those of novel items or prior targets of attention or response. This has been taken as evidence that inhibition has negative affective consequences. But inhibition could act instead to attenuate or "neutralize" preexisting affective salience, predicting opposite effects for stimuli that were initially positive or negative in valence. We tested this hypothesis by presenting trustworthy and untrustworthy faces (Experiment 1), strongly positive and negative photographs (Experiment 2), and monetary gain- and loss-associated patterns (Experiment 3) in a Go/No-Go task and assessing subsequent affective ratings. Evaluations of prior No-Go (inhibited) stimuli were more negative than of prior Go (noninhibited) stimuli, regardless of a priori affective valence. Ratings of No-Go stimuli also became increasingly negative (vs. increasingly neutral) when preexisting salience was increased via stimulus repetition (Experiment 4). Our results suggest inhibition leads to affective devaluation, not affective neutralization.

Original publication

DOI

10.1037/a0025981

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform

Publication Date

02/2012

Volume

38

Pages

169 - 179

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Affect, Facial Expression, Female, Humans, Inhibition (Psychology), Male, Neuropsychological Tests, Social Perception, Visual Perception, Young Adult